Johnston Press (LON: JPR) has put itself up for sale.
The owner of titles including the i newspaper, the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post has £220 million of borrowing due for repayment in June next year.
“Since commencing the strategic review of financing options first announced in March 2017, the company has focused on exploring all options available,” said the group in a statement to shareholders.
“In order to assess all strategic options to maximise value to its stakeholders, the board of Johnston Press announces that it has decided to seek offers for the company.”
The i newspaper is the group’s most valuable title, which Johnston Press bought in 2016 for £24 million from the Independent and the Evening Standard owner, Evgeny Lebedev.
The i newspaper sells about 275,000 copies a day.
Instead of selling titles individually, the publishing group hopes to sell the business as a whole entity.
Johnston Press owns almost 200 regional newspapers and has seen the value of newspaper titles fall due to a decline in traditional and digital advertising revenues.
In May, Ashley Highfield stepped down as the chief executive of Johnston Press. The group is being run by David King, who was previously the chief financial officer.
Shares in the group, which has seen a 10% fall in revenue to £93 million in the six months to end-June, have fallen 78% over the past 12 months.
Shares closed on Wednesday at 3.2p, valuing the company at £3.4 million pounds.